July 6, 2014
READ: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Three things will last forever—faith, hope and love—and the greatest of these is love (v.13).
Accompanied by a cool breeze, the sunlight slowly spread over the horizon. It was a beautiful morning to plant. Grabbing various tools, my husband and I set out to rake back mulch and dig some holes. We had carefully selected plants that would work in the various growing environments our garden offered. Though the work had been strenuous, I later found it rewarding to stand back and see the fruits of our labour—a beautiful array of bushes, flowers and trees.
When it comes to church culture, we face a ready temptation to compare the church we attend with others we’ve seen down the road, visited during a conference or heard about on a podcast. Certainly, each church has its issues, and its leadership needs to seek the will of God regarding new opportunities for growth, especially in keeping a pulse on the spiritual health of the body. But church practices and culture aren’t ‘one size fits all’.
I’m disheartened when noisy, unloving griping (1 Corinthians 13:1) happens in the undercurrent of a church community because things don’t go the way a particular individual or group of people desired. We neglect to remember that the omniscient God we serve knows every hair on our head (Luke 12:7), every thought we think (Psalm 139:2) and every spiritual need we have (42:1-4). He also knows all about the church we attend.
Because the work of the church is God-appointed, it must be Spirit-led and not directed by man (James 3:13-18). If those who are teaching persist in doctrinal error, or if the leadership has refused to address sin, then the Lord may be leading you to worship elsewhere. But if not, be content when the Master Planter sets you in the environment where He knows you will flourish best.
When it comes to living out your faith in your local church, may all your words be spoken in love (1 Corinthians 13:13). —Regina Franklin
365-day plan› Matthew 11:1-30
Read 2 Timothy 3:1-17 and examine the specific behaviours that mark leaders we should follow and those we should avoid.
When you disagree with something that’s happening in your local church, how do you typically handle it? How is God challenging you in your perspectives of your home church?